Before You Buy: Satellite TV Frequently Asked Questions

Before You Buy: Satellite TV Frequently Asked Questions

Tue, Jan 10, 2023 11:38 PM


Moving to another state could be the perfect time to consider switching up your TV service and trying out another form of service. Take time to consider satellite TV when you're exploring your options.

But it will rely on your location and the needs of your household to select a new TV service provider. Keep reading if you're exploring satellite TV and want to learn more about your provider options! In selecting the best TV provider for your new home.


What is satellite TV?


"This form of TV broadcasting provides wireless programming from a space-orbiting TV satellite to an antenna (called a "TV dish" or "TV satellite") that sits on your roof. The signal is then decoded into the TV program you want to watch by a receiver that is mounted near your TV inside your house.


Satellite TV Disadvantages


Here are three main disadvantages that can emerge with the service of satellite TV.


  • Satellite TV is susceptible to bad weather. 


Satellite TV relies on a dish pointing to the horizon, and in bad weather, this may cause digital signals to slip. On the TV satellite, heavy rain and ice build-up will affect the reception of the signal. The dish may be knocked down by strong winds or alter its orientation.


  • Internet Connectivity


Over the same wires used to distribute your TV programming, cable providers will deliver internet access. Users of satellite TV would need to subscribe to a DSL package, which is an unnecessary expense and hassle yet again. DSL is generally slower than wired internet, as well.


  • Satellite TV may not offer local channels


As part of every basic or premium bundle, cable television companies package local channels, but a few satellite services don't carry local networks. You need to search the packages for local programming to see if they are available or turn to cable to access them.


Satellite TV Advantages


Travel in the U.S. or anywhere else through the rural countryside and you could see satellite dishes pointing up from every rooftop. What made them so very popular?


  • Availability in any locations


If you live in a city where the cable is ubiquitous or fiber TV is a modern alternative, it may not make much difference to you. But the scope of the cable is small and only in select metropolitan areas has fiber been rolled out. So once you move your home to a country where wide distances divide rural houses, these types of TV services are probably not a choice.

As the signals are transmitted from space to a platter fixed to your room, satellite TV is not restricted by distance. They are suitable for remote areas that are not covered by cable television providers.

If you move into a rural area, satellite TV has an advantage over cable TV. You can't take your on-premise equipment with you on cable TV. Or it may not be served by your old provider if you are moving to another city, meaning you will need to sign up for a new service.

Satellite TV has no such problem. Typically, all of a provider's set-top boxes are the same and all you need to do is mount the TV satellite and ensure that the dish antenna faces the right direction.


  • Quality of reception


Satellite signals are digital broadcasts, so for Ultra-HD TVs, every channel is in high definition. Many HD cable channels are now broadcast, but some stations do use standard-resolution analog signals. This can be a bummer if you have top-of-the-line facilities and like to watch sports with crystal-clear reception.


  • Cost and channel availability


Bundled packages are also sold by several satellite TV providers. To cover your connection needs, you can take a combo of TV, internet, and phone. AT&T, for example, owns DIRECTV, so you can use its Triple Play Kit to cover all three. But bear in mind that not all satellite TV providers sell the internet in all regions, so you have to sign up separately with an Internet Service Provider.

Providers of satellite TV also provide packages with a robust range of channels, especially for national programming, news, and sports.



Satellite TV Providers:  DISH and DIRECTV


There are two main companies, DIRECTV, and DISH, that provide satellite TV services. Prices and details differ by location, but to give you an idea of what both providers provide, here's a snapshot of their service. To decide whether they suit the TV needs of your family, you can consider the price, available channels, sports packs, and DVR equipment.


Provider Starting Price Channels Contract
DISH Introductory prices with America’s Top 120 plan start at $59.99/month with a 2-year price guarantee. 190+ channels that include all-time favorites, along with ESPN, USA, CMT, Disney Channel, and E! There are 290+ channels available in the highest package. Contracts extend to 24 months of service. Early termination fees are $20/month (Up to $480).
DIRECTV Introductory prices with DIRECTV Select start at $59.99/month for 12 months. The select package includes 155+ Channels with premium channels like HBO, Cinemax, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and EPIX® included for 3 months for free. There are 330+ channels available in the premiere package. Contacts extend to 24 months of service. For cancellations, DIRECTV can charge a pro-rated fee of up to $480.The select package includes 155+ Channels with premium channels like HBO, Cinemax, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and EPIX® included for 3 months for free. There are 330+ channels available in the premiere package.


Satellite TV Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is the best satellite TV Provider?


The price comparison between DIRECTV and DISH TV doesn't give us a definite winner. If you enjoy sports, then the top-end Premier package from DIRECTV offers you 70+ regional sports networks and the pro-football package from the NFL SUNDAY TICKET.

But although DISH TV has a slightly narrower range, its Hopper 3 DVR box has better features than the Genie of DIRECTV. It is able to record 16 shows against DIRECTV's five at once. It also has Netflix and other software enabled. A two-year price guarantee comes with all DISH TV packages.

If you are not a football fan, it's easier to select DISH TV, but you may want to put together a package of your favorite channels and compare them side by side.


  • What is better, Satellite or Cable TV?


It relies on your position and your specifications.

For a crisper experience, satellite television helps you to get high-def TV channels and you can customize your packages. Using their On-Demand streaming services and simultaneous recording capabilities for popular movies and TV shows, your entertainment needs are well covered.

Note, satellite TV means "no cables," so if you are traveling across the world, it might be a safer choice. Or, of course, if you are away from cable providers like Spectrum or Cox Communications in a rural country.




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